Local forest machine maker wins Swedish Business Awards19.10.2012, 09:59
The winners of 2012 Swedish Business Awards were announced in Tallinn yesterday at a ceremony which featured none other than the President of Estonia, writes news2biz.
The Sustainable Growth Award went to Palmse Mehaanikakoda, a mechanical engineering company located in Lääne-Virumaa. Under the PALMS trademark, the company produces forest cranes and log trailers.
The machine maker which currently employs 38 people was praised for its financial results as well as exports. No wonder, since 96% of the firm's last year's revenues were generated by exports through an international network of distributors.
In 2011, the company's turnover amounted to nearly EUR 15.6m (52% growth y-o-y) and the net profits to EUR 1.6m. Palmse Mehaanikakoda is majority-owned by its CEO Anti Puusepp (67.6%) who also made it to the Estonia's TOP 100 wealthiest people list composed by the business daily Äripäev for the first time this year.
The first-time Environmental Award was granted to KOKO Architects who created an energy-efficient seawater heat system for the Lennusadam museum in Tallinn (seafaring hangars). The solution brought about a great change, since originally the new museum space was supposed to be mere unheated hangars.
The award for corporate social responsibility initiative was given to retail chain Rimi for its information campaign of healthy eating.
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year title was given to Indrek Rebane, founder and chief engineer of Hedgehog which specialises in electronic design services for start-ups and educational institutions.
Altogether, the record number of 76 companies and entrepreneurs ran for the three awards given jointly by the Swedish Trade Council, Embassy of Sweden and Swedbank. Swedish Business Awards are also awarded in Latvia and Lithuania.
The event itself was more up-scale than ever – with the president Toomas Hendrik Ilves making the welcome speech. In his rather in-formal buddy-style presentation, the Swedish-born president dwelled on the close relations of the two countries.
He reminisced how in the 1990s Estonia used to be referred to as FSU (Former Soviet Union), although the accurate form should have been FSE (Former Swedish Empire) since Estonia had been under the Swedish rule for 150 years.
"We now have entered new good Swedish days," the president said. Another remark that made the audience snigger was Ilves' recollection about a Swedish CEO who had told him that Estonia's business culture had reached the level of that of Finland.
"I know something about Swedish attitudes...," the president said, holding the pause. "I hope it was a compliment."
Ilves elaborated on ways that the two countries should operate on a pan-Nordic level, e.g., in the fields of electronic medical prescriptions, registering businesses, cybercrime and digital signatures. He mentioned how he has been an advocate of pan-European digital signatures in Brussels for a decade, but to no avail.
"Let's start with the reforms here and make them a reality," Ilves said, adding that others will then follow.